Spring Cleaning Your Schedule

by Amy Hilbrich Davis

in Home and Family Management,Insights,Parenting Tips

It’s spring cleaning time but fortunately there’s no need for a broom or Windex. Now is a great time to weed through all of the responsibilities that are getting in the way of enjoying your life, while raising your kids.

As moms, our most valuable resources are our time and energy. We have to cherish and protect it. Why? Because saying, “Yes” to someone or something means you have to say, “No” to someone or something else– there’s only so much time in a day. Balancing means learning when to say, “No” to insure that you have reserves for the relationships you value most; you, and your family.

We are all dancing as fast we can to meet the infinite needs of our families, stop for a minute to reflect on the following questions. “Do my actions make me feel happier and more successful? Who is losing in my dance to meet everyone’s needs?” If you are comfortable with your answers, your priorities are reflected in your actions and you are on the right track. If you don’t like your answers, change things! It will mean disappointing people, yet those who value you will applaud your decision to make a stand for your needs. Keep in mind, success and happiness for you and your family is your goal and striving to integrate and balance it all takes discipline each and every day.

Recently, a mom shared with me that her greatest challenge was taking care of herself. I suggested that she say, “No” to any extra request of her time and energy until she started to schedule time for herself– no exceptions. She was aghast! The truth is that each of you will have well-intentioned, wonderful people asking you for your help or your company– help to cook, bake, pick up, lead, ecetera, for the rest of your lives. Why? Because you are capable, clever and high achieving women. It is however, up to you to say, “Thank you, I am so flattered you thought of me, but I’ll have to pass.” Or try “Thanks for asking, I’ll take a rain check this time, but maybe next year.” Or how about, “Thank you so much for thinking of me, but I need to put a premium on my evenings with my family.” All you have to do is say “No”…nicely.

Like most things, practice make perfect, so choose a phrase or make up your own and use them! Print them out and memorize what works best for you so you will be ready for any request and respond respectfully and confidently. Having clear purpose and priorities will keep you focused and disciplined to achieve your goals. When you gracefully (this will come with practice) and confidently start declining requests, you send a powerful message that you value your time and energy and the people sitting around your dinner table get first dibs!

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